A beautiful and full day here today! Getting into the garden in the orchard and weeding the strawberry beds in sandals felt good. A lot needs doing but time is on my side, there is no need to panic. I have been so busy with everything to do with the hens and now they are here and settling and happy, I can concentrate on the vegetable plot. The house has been taken over by all the seedlings and they’ll take a while to get ready.
The pear trees and cherry trees are in full bloom and Yves’ bees are so busy on the rosemary bushes along the lavender path. Every day on the way home from the top field, the donkeys gorge on the cotoneasters’ fruits. It has been such a good year for those and black birds and thrushes have left plenty for the donkeys.
This morning I saw my first pied wagtail. I’d never seen one here before. Other bloggers have mentioned the rarity of this elegant little bird and on reading about it I could see why they weren’t seen around here…until now. They prefer being near running water like a river or a stream.
Yesterday we heard the cuckoo at last. We had been wondering why we had not yet heard it as it is very punctual every year on the 1st day of spring as if it knows exactly when to show up and there it was. How lovely and reassuring somehow.
And 2 days ago while feeding the ewes, we witnessed something extraordinary: a flock of about 20 storks slowly circling very low above us as if looking for something. With a wingspan of over 2 metres they were really impressive. Were they looking for a place to roost for the night on their way to Alsace? I so wished they had stayed a while longer….I suppose they get to Alsace to roost when the chimneys are still warm from the winter fires. The ewes were freaked but then they are freaked with anything: the new lodgers next door to them is not of their liking. Since the little hens have arrived, the ewes are hissing and stamping their feet in total disapproval of these new neighbours.
A couple of pigeons have taken residence in a hole in the wall of the barn facing South-West. I can’t remember seeing any of them here before….We have some doves coming to drink on the balcony and perch in the conker tree in the summer while we are having lunch, and their nest is in the ivy of the pine tree in the donkey field, but I could be wrong because I could never spot it. It’s just that they spend a lot of time coming and going from there.
One of the bird boxes Geoff repaired has found a lodger.
And tonight we had our very first soft boiled eggs, 2 each, that would have disappeared into the egg cup they were so small, so I sat mine on a slice of bread. 38 grams they weighed. Thank you little hen.
A lot is happening here this spring and it’s heart warming.